Thursday, January 28, 2010
How did you start writing?
I was always writing stories, as far back as I can remember. In college I was a business major with a creative writing minor, so I had to turn in a short story every week. I probably had about fifty short stories written before I had a style, what is often referred to as a “voice” that was strong enough to write a novel.
What are you doing when you are not working? What are some of the interests/hobbies which keep you busy?
When I was a kid my great-grandmother gave me her big set of oil paints and I’ve been painting and drawing ever since. I also play the piano and have wondered about the similarities in structure between music and visual arts. This led to an intense fascination with physics and intimately to writing science fiction. In addition, the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to teach some classes at NYU on the business of producing television and film.
How would you describe your book to someone who is not familiar with your work?
Alex Detail’s Revolution is an adventure story of a boy who finds himself suddenly stuck in the middle of a battle and having to fight for his life. It happens to take place in the future, but the journey and challenges and questions the characters experience are familiar and could take place in any time past, present or future.
Why space and spaceships?
Spaceships are fun! I grew up watching Star Trek The Next Generation and I saw how inspiring and freeing it can be to the imagination to go out there and find something totally new, places we can’t get to or experience right now.
Do you believe there is life on other planets?
Life, absolutely. The more interesting thought is if there is life that is self-aware, or some other sort of consciousness. There are probably forms of thought we can’t imagine or detect, like some colony of sentient crystals under an ocean in another solar system.
Do some of the Alex Details Revolution's characters exist in your life?
Defiantly there are aspects and traits in just about everyone I can remember in my life that end up showing up in the characters. Sometimes they evolve into someone I once knew or sometimes they have been inspired by my very first meeting with a person. Captain Odessa is that sort of purely practical person I based on my friend Rebecka. I met her in college when she was just out of the Israeli army.
What message does the Alex Details Revolution's send out to the readers?
Go ahead and tackle the things you fear and not let that emotion stop you from doing anything, then you’ll become alive and your life will become one great adventure after another.
What kind of books do you enjoy? What are your influences?
Joseph Campbell was the primary influence in most of my choices in life, including writing. I learned from him that all the mysteries of life have been experienced by all the people who lived before us, and all the stories and myths are clues they left for us on how to deal with this question of how to really engage in life to its fullest, how to overcome all the fears and challenges with an attitude of excitement and wonder.
Could you tell us something about your future plans? Can we maybe expect a sequel to Alex Details Revolution?
Yes! The sequel exists in my head and the first three chapters have already been written. Alex, Captain Odessa and George Spell have a lot more adventures ahead of them.
Since you work as a television executive, have you thought about making movies from your books?
Writing is the thing I really love. TV shows, movies, plays are all big collaborative efforts that represent the visions of many people working as a team. A book is the purest story a single person can convey without having to change your vision for a shifting marketplace or particular demographic or competing creative visions.
Which genre of movies do you prefer, and what are some of your favorites?
I really love movies with that are funny and fun and have a “happily ever after” ending. The exception might be Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. Maybe because I know the happily ever after comes three movies later, but I could watch that a thousand times.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing the sequel to Alex Detail’s Revolution, which is currently titled “Alex Detail’s Rebellion” as well as putting the finishing touches on another novel called “Stingers” about a group of kids who use honeybees to take over the world.
Have you considered writing for the younger audience?
I write the sort of stories I enjoyed reading as a boy so I think that there’s always an intrinsic appeal to a younger audience. I have been surprised to have kids seven or eight years old talk to me about Alex Detail’s Revolution. It’s easy to forget how insightful kids are at even a very young age.
Thank you very much for your time and patience, Darren. We wish you the best of luck with your future work. :)